BMA suspends junior doctors' strike

Junior doctors strike earlier this year. Credit: PA

The British Medical Association (BMA) has suspended the junior doctors' strike which was due to take place across England next week.

In a statement, it said it had called off the five-day strike set for September 12 because NHS England said it would not be able to "cope with the notice period for industrial action given".

Last week the BMA announced training medics would perform a series of strikes by withdrawing labour, including emergency care, for a week each month until the end of the year.

Junior doctors protest outside the Department of Health in April. Credit: PA

The General Medical Council (GMC) welcomed the move by the BMA, saying they would now have more time to "plan for reduced medical cover, thereby reducing the impact and potential harm to patients".

The BMA added Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is still planning to impose the contract, which is the cause of the strikes, on junior doctors.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Hunt condemned the strikes saying the way to resolve the issue was "not through confrontation" which "harms patients"- and urged junior doctors to "put patients first".

The strike dates planned for October, November, and December are still planned to go ahead, with the BMA adding that before October's strike Mr Hunt "must use this time to listen and act".

The BMA has said it will call off the strikes if the Government agrees to not impose the new contract.

The BMA said it will call off the strikes if the Government scraps the new contracts. Credit: PA

Downing Street welcomed the news the strike had been called off.

Six strikes have already taken place during the lengthy dispute.

In May it looked as though a breakthrough had been reached after both sides agreed to a new deal.

However, in July the Government announced it would impose a new contract after junior doctors and medical students voted to reject the contract brokered between the BMA and the Government.